Whatever is Pure - January 2011
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
I gave my life for thee, My precious blood I shed,
For this New Year, and the lovely snow accompanying it, Lord, I thank You. What a marvelous, limitless Lord of goodness you are to give such beauty for the gladness of our hearts! No matter what my troubles, when there is snow, my heart rejoices with the sheer glory and wonder of it. Infinite crystals of ice, and each one unique! My finite mind cannot fathom such a wonder!
As always with You Lord, there is more in the dazzling landscape than meets the eye. You provide this blessing for our pleasure, as well as a love letter. In the sweet, silent, enveloping beauty You paint a picture of your love for us. The snow covers all the old and familiar, the gray and brown, the barren and dead, making it a new, exquisite, shimmering delight. So You, with Your Calvary blood, cover our old, vile nature, our bareness, our sin, making our lives pure and white as the virgin snow; making us lovely to Your eyes. Because of Your love blood covering, we are new creations--holy and acceptable. We were dead and rotting in our sins. Now we are born again, alive in You. However, unlike the snow, which will soon melt, revealing the old and dead, Your covering remains forever.
As the fresh, clean snow reminds us of our new life in You Lord, help us to so view the New Year as a shiny new tool to be used for You. This New Year you've granted us is another of Your abundant blessings. Let us make an offering of it--giving to You our time and talents You so graciously bestow upon us. May You empower and equip us to make any necessary changes in our lives--changes that will draw us nearer to You. Changes that will help us have a more abundantly simple life. Give us wisdom Lord, to order our time wisely--using it minute by minute for You. So quickly the hours and months and years slip away. Carelessly we've let them sift through our fingers, taking no heed that the precious moments could never be recaptured.
Yet You, the Lord of new life, continue to give us new beginnings.
Dear Lord, it is for these new beginnings, and for our new life in You,
Come Unto Me
Why does God ever give us anything? To give it away of course! One day, in 2009, after getting back from dropping Mister off at school, I sat down to spend time with The Father. The music was going, the bible was in front of me and I was waiting on His direction when the power went off... silence; beautiful, thunderous silence. Did you know that statistically there are more children conceived during power outages than during any other time? Interesting…… how quietness and stillness leads us to intimate relationship!
Getting excited about the direction he was taking me, I stilled my mind and He started imparting! I often wonder how much I miss because I’m not listening.
He tuned my ears to the winds. They were violent. I glanced out the french doors into the back yard and saw leaves swirling in small tornadic twists. Occasionally, branches would sail by like projectiles looking for a target. I’d hear some of them slam against the side of the house. How exciting, scary and thrilling it was. I immediately covered my loved ones in prayer and went back to the ardent task of listening. He directed me to the trees, their ugliness and bareness and how the violence of the winds were stripping what little was left to mask their imperfections. The winds were ripping off any branch that could not stand up to the trial of the storm.
He reminded me of a teaching I had once heard about how in winter, the root system of the tree has to go deep into the soil to obtain nutrients and water and how it is that deepness that brings the tree it’s strength to stand in the harshness of nature and time. The deeper the root, the more vibrant the new growth would be in the spring. The pruning brings new life, stronger life, more seeding, more color.
Winter is a season we must all go through. The days are short and the light is fleeting, especially on gray days. What an opportunity to go deep in Him, to find the source of life! The weather is harsh and exposes all of our faults, for all to see. More opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in Him, in humility and in receipt of affirmation and love. We find comfort in that we are among a group of others whose imperfections are also on display. Mercy emerges as we realize we are all cloaked in imperfection. We find community as we encourage and urge each other to go deeper, to find our strength in Him. Realizing that we each have our own root system, knowing that each one of us in the end will have to stand alone and give an individual account.
Then, He stopped relaying and silence fell inside of me. I knew I was being invited to experience what He had just shown me. I fell deep into God, in a state of utter surrender and He began His work in me once again. First, beautiful saturation....with the immersion of His unfailing Love rested upon and in me. I felt rooted and grounded ....then......Ouch, I didn’t see that. He broke it off immediately. Again, and again….yuk...take it Lord ! Then the leaves I had placed to hide offense were swept away and I was forced to look at the ugliness it hid. Repentance was unspoken. In a fully surrendered state, permission for removal and transformation by the Lord has already been granted. He is swift; His Hand is mighty. Quickly, the broken areas were sealed so nothing could bleed from them, the imperfections were mended and healed from the inside, His imparted nature replaced the void. I often will bear the outward scars of them but now proudly…... instead of ashamedly. Only a short time had passed, could it be that simple? I was different somehow, reformed, shaped ready for whatever life held for me this day……today.
He then impressed upon me, "let’s run". Surely I must have misunderstood; after all, it was very dangerous outside. He confirmed and we went. About a quarter mile from the house was the downed tree that caused the outage. It was a beautiful oak tree with much more life to live than what it had been given. He took me right up to it and I saw what had caused it's demise. It had fallen from the root and was split in half. Outside, it was stately, beautiful and strong, yet it was hollowed on the inside. Insects had eaten out the interior of the magnificent tree. I glanced at it’s root system, it was so small in comparison to the height of the tree. The enemy had infiltrated through a small opening and invited all of it’s army to feed off of the mighty oak. Wow, once again, He brought revelation. How one opening, one area that we don’t allow our Creator access to, can take us out !! We can have it all, outward strength, outward beauty and be rotted on the inside. It is what others can’t see that often takes us out. God had blessed this tree with much, yet by not fully surrendering all areas, the enemy had hindered it’s usefulness and rendered it ineffective…….dead!
God will never force us. The winds and storms will come; the weather will expose the imperfections on us and in us. The question is, will we go deep into Him in submission and surrender and stand victoriously or will we stand in our own strength and fall?
Jesus said in Mathew 11:28, " Come unto me and I will give you rest." He didn’t call the mighty and the wise to follow him, He called the humble, the heavy laden, the weary whose hope was in Him alone. Is it really that simple?
We come into His Presence barren, withholding nothing and He takes us deep into His Love rooting us and grounding us in Him, giving us rest, establishing us. He does the work (removing, pruning, healing, imparting). We slowly and intentionally secure ourselves to Him as our provision and our foundation in the depths of His Stillness. We open all our selves up to Him, leaving no place withheld or hidden, open to his reprove. Daily we retreat to know Him, trust Him more and draw our source of strength and power from Him; His Virtue, His Character, His Nature. Daily He forms Christ in us for all to see for His Glory through our imperfection.
We are freed..... to grow, to learn, to blossom, to produce, and eventually… to multiply!!
Day after day after day, from Glory to Glory He takes us.
Hoping this blesses you and your power goes out!
Have Heard The Voice
As the early retiring lover in the story of old
I lay sleepy-eyed upon my bed
and heard the jiggling of the door-handle
and then The Voice
of the beloved and longed for
But I troubled not my rest
even as I heard the footsteps
disappearing down the hallway
and I thought casually
surely there will be a return
But I heard no return of footsteps
nor the Voice of my beloved
to whom I made promises
to love and to cherish
and to be ready at His coming
Rising from the comfort of my slumber
I rushed to redress myself
and stumbled through the doorway
down the empty lonely hallway
in search of my beloved
But my beloved was gone
vanished into the night
having mystically disappeared
leaving no trace behind
that I might follow
And now I know my folly
to have taken my beloved
only available as was convenient
for my selfish heart
I have broken promises
abrogated my vows
and turned from the simplest requests
that my beloved
called me to
I have looked wherever I go
for my beloved
down every street
in this foreign city
crying out in my sleep
Then I remembered
that my beloved promised
never to leave me or forsake me
that His steadfast love
And so in the promise
I again found my beloved
to the place of worship
where we can begin again
©2010 Lonnie Pritzen
Please contact Lonnie for permission before using this article or forwarding it on in any format.
Just Hold On!
I was standing in our nation's grandest theme park waiting to get on a particular ride. I must admit the heat and humidity were making their presence known when our 20 month old Aidan, who was comfortably resting in my wife's arms, decided he wanted to get down and stand on his own. At first he just looked around and played with the rope which is used to form the line. He smiled, he laughed and pushed his limits to the confines of the clearly defined area. He went under the ropes and proceeded to run in another direction. We constantly had to pull him under the rope and back in line.
After fighting a seemingly losing battle, he threw both arms in the air and looked to my wife in desperation as to say..."Hold me again" My wife shuffled over to me her purse and his sippy cup which she was holding in order to pick him back up. Then Aidan turned his back to her and threw his arms up to me, hands waving, as if to say, "She is taking too long, will you please hold me". Now if you have spent anytime around our son Aidan, then you know that if momma is around, no one else is needed or desired. I couldn't believe it....my son actually wanted me! Without hesitation I threw my wife the purse and sippy cup and in the same moment reached down to pick up that child who has rejected me for his momma so many times before... but as quickly as I shoved the articles to my wife, he turned back towards her. It was then that we both realized; he didn’t want either of us to hold him, he just wanted that sippy cup and the ice cold water it contained. After taking a few hearty gulps and catching his breath, he decided it was time to retreat back to the comfort of his mother's arms.
A day later, as the family slept and recovered from the preceding day's activities, I began to reflect on our time at the park. I wondered how many times have I been like my son Aidan with God? Resting comfortable in His arms, I restlessly get down and try to do things on my own. I go against the boundaries He has established and wait for Him to guide me back. And then when the battle gets tough I look to Him, not for Him to hold me, but for him to give me something, the things I desire and want. He patiently and lovingly watches the whole time with a desire to just hold me comfortably in His arms.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19
©2010 Pastor Bob K Smithson
Mended Heart Ministries
Please contact Bob at:
As of May 2012, "WHATEVER IS PURE" ARCHIVES will no longer be seeking submissions. As most authors and poets now have their own blogs, we noticed a significant drop in submissions over the past year and felt it was best to move on to other endeavors.